University of Bath Student Accommodation
University of Bath

Architectural Metalwork
University of Bath
Download PDF


We worked with Elements Europe, a market leader in modular construction, on a large and complex project for student accommodation in Bath. With over 450 individual pods, set within a former derelict residential care home, this was an extensive project that combined our client’s expertise in offsite manufacturing with our expertise in 3D modelling with Tekla.


Having experienced the limitations of other design packages, Elements Europe was keen to work with us as experts in Tekla. Tekla offers powerful capabilities that can be used to great effect in the field of offsite modular technology and our client wanted to make the most of them. On this particular project we were tasked to use Tekla to both fulfill the different types of pod required for the project and to use the Howick macros to connect the pod panels and provide relevant data for the Howick machines.


As this was one of the first offsite SFS projects we had been involved in, we first immersed ourselves in our client’s construction methods, which differed from other projects we had previously produced in a similar vein. As Tekla had not been used within their processes before, we studied closely how the Howick machine macros worked, and were then able to issue their data for manufacture.

This was also a project where the majority of the modules were constructed from light steel framing, requiring virtually all of the sections to be vertically in line throughout multiple levels. Again, without Tekla this aspect of the job would have provided a challenge too far for other software.

In order to ensure the exterior aesthetics of the project were every bit as precise as the pods’ interiors, we integrated with the Architectural Revit IFC. This allowed us to see the external cladding and window details, which were to sit within our framing, in front of the modules, creating the building’s facade.

As all the modules were to be built offsite, including all fixtures and fittings, we also took into account the locations of wiring runs, pipework, windows and all finishes to the internal parts of the module. Using Tekla we were able to allow for as much repetition as possible between the various module types, this minimised wastage and streamlined processes where possible.

While this might have been our first such project, by combing our expertise in 3D modelling with Tekla, with our client’s expertise in offsite manufacturing, together we were able to complete a large and complex job to everyone’s great satisfaction.